Entrance door header--OK to trim?


Old 03-27-19, 09:19 AM
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Entrance door header--OK to trim?

We would like to replace our 1976 double entry doors with a single door with sidelights. We've been told by a door sales guy who came by and took measurements, that a standard door and frame won't fit. He said that we will have to order a custom sized door and frame.

Instead of the standard 80 inch door height, he said we will need one that is 78.5 inches tall. He also wants us to order a custom sized frame. Instead of the standard 82 inch frame, he wants us to order one that is 81.25 inches tall.

He also mentioned that even though he came up with the measurements, if the door does not fit or work for us, it will be our problem not his. We like the ThermaTru SmoothStar fiberglass doors, but the idea of having to eat a $3K door is a risk we'd prefer not to have..

We also talked to an installer who mentioned that he could simply trim the header in order to make a standard sized unit and door fit.

Is this something we should consider? Could we get into trouble down the road if we did this? The door in question is our main entrance. Our house is a two story colonial.

As always, we would appreciate anyone who takes the time to weigh in on this.


Old 03-27-19, 11:55 AM
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Personally, if I ran into this by surprise in the field, I would trim the header. Not saying that is the kosher thing to do, but IMO its not a big deal and it is the best alternative to ordering a shorter custom door.

You also might find that the header has a 2x4 laying flat under it, which could be removed. That was commonly done back in the day.

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